[Critique concert] “Eden” and marketing teeth

American mezzo Joyce DiDonato and Il Pomo d’Oro were in Montreal on Sunday to present their nature-themed musical show Eden. Skillfully organize a vocal recital, Eden », and a well-oiled machine seemingly misses its primary purpose: to wake up, to be restless, and to move.

Ich bin der Welt Abhanden gekommen (I’m Out of This World) should bring tears or shivers at the end of the show. This timeless lie by Gustav Mahler to a moving poem by Friedrich Rückert can only thrill. Here, instrumental and vocal in the form of an Ikea kit (a few notes are missing, the lines are not ideal) is a kind of sound switch that closes the ban.

Position He was unimpressed with the Eden CD released in the spring, preferring to highlight tenor Pene Pati’s 1st recital at Warner. However, we’d take the show with confidence, as the disc highlights Joyce DiDonato’s mature voice, and her vibrato begins to worry on certain tunes (notes are being made in the register). strong mezzo and below) and as a liar in sleazy arrangements of Mahler’s music ” Ich atmet einen Linden Duft (I Smell Lime) is an episode centered on a nature-themed scripted show that will be placed in the “tree” section after all, after ticking the “forests”, “birds” and “forests” boxes. “sea” before approaching “sky” and “sun”.

A certain logic prevails for a while: we get red lights on our faces for “the sun,” and when we see blue appear, we know it’s talking about water because we understand the concept (“ Toglierò the sponde al mare — I will free the sea from its shores — by Myslyvecek). But we understand the “narrative” less and less as it progresses and Joyce DiDonato circles the stage. The latter are metal and the unknown color is green: the fact that the show is so cold is certainly against global warming.

Baroque on the front line

Towards the end of the show, when we vaguely suspect we’re headed for some kind of confession of doom, the surtitles drop. For your information, the weather Schuyler, not under the title, but a plea to place oneself under God’s protection. Find out who can…

In short, the idea of ​​writing a concert script is admirable and correct. We spoke to Valerie Milot and Stéphane Tetreault about it here. Along with five others, “Eden” thrives on the finality and aura provided by a commission from the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation and sponsorship from the Getty Foundation, the Metropolitan Opera’s largest private donor, among sixteen others. rain or shine in music mode.

Having a “concept” and “transfer boxes” allows you to dazzle the media with something you can sell other than a “Joyce DiDonato recital.” However, this is a script by Joyce DiDonato. Analyzed in this way, it is valuable for the quality of the orchestra in the Baroque works, the completion of the project, the presence of the singer on the stage and the power of expression in the vengeful Baroque atmospheres (“ Con le stelle in ciel che mai » Marini, aria Myslivecek, « Misera, son of a dove! – Oh! no his io che speaks “in”Ezio Started by Gluck, the highlights of the concert An unanswered question Ives where the voice replaces the trumpet).

The rest is well-oiled and perfectly iced marketing that responds to the currents around it. The battle at the next Grammy Awards will be a fratricidal one, as “Eden” accidentally meets. Voice of Nature – Anthropocene By Renée Fleming and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Here too, the theme: endangered nature appears through music!

The “Eden” concert continues with a performance by the singer, two interventions by the local children’s choir, as well as an aria ” Umbra mai fu “in reminder. The artists will be at the Palais Montcalm in Quebec this Monday evening.


Works and airs by Ives, Portman, Mahler, Uccellini, Marini, Myslivecek, Copland, Valentini, Cavalli, Gluck and Handel. Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano), Il Pomo d’Oro, Zefira Valova. Director: Marie Lambert Le Bihan. Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Sunday, January 29, 2023.

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